Organizational networks, especially the larger ones, expand beyond the physical infrastructures into cloud platforms, making the network more intricate. This makes gaining real-time visibility difficult for administrators. However, network management tools with IP scanners will help resolve this complexity by shedding light into every nook and cranny of the network.

With every scan, these tools reveal unseen parts of the networks, like the presence of unauthorized devices, subnet size, current IP utilization patterns, and much more. By implementing a proper IPAM tool with advanced IP scanners will transform a murky network into a transparent cartography, thereby empowering the administrators to enhance the network performance, prevent conflicts, fortify security, and manage the entire network with ease in a single console.

Why networks without proper visibility are a recipe for disaster

Lacking proper visibility into the network is like navigating a dangerous road blindfolded. From an administrator’s point of view, it is crucial to understand the network dynamics to optimize the health, performance, and security. Network visibility is an indispensable part in ensuring a healthy network.

This type of network visibility refers to visibility beyond what is offered by basic IPAM tools; it transcends beyond the number of IPs or the devices connected to the network. An advanced IPAM tool should give deep insights into subnet size, real-time resource utilization, associated MAC address, DNS name, availability, and much more. Not just that, the tool should help administrators spot anomalies like unauthorized device access, recognize threats like IP conflicts, and enhance performance with proper resource allocation. With advanced IP scanners, all of this is possible; read on to learn how advanced IP scanners help take complete control of the IP network.

From blind spots to clarity: 5 ways IP scanners enable network visibility

Before diving into how IP scanner empowers the administrators with visibility, let’s start with understanding how an IP scanner works.

  • The first thing an IP scanner does is pings a range of IP addresses in the network.
  • Next, the available devices ping back showing their active presence in the network.
  • The scanner then pings back for details like MAC address, operating system, DNS name, etc. from the active devices.
  • Once the details are received by the IP scanner, it connects all the dots and creates a blueprint of the network.
  • Finally, the IP scanner presents the mapped details in a user-friendly format for the administrators to comprehend.

This is how an IP scanner works at the surface level.

Now, let’s look at five ways IP scanners help gain in-depth network visibility.

1. Rapid identification of all the devices connected to the network

IP scanners quickly scan through ranges of IP addresses in the network and collect in-depth details of the network components. This not only tells the administrator about the composition of the network but also provides a comprehensive overview of potential vulnerabilities.

2. In-depth insights into IP addresses, MAC addresses, and device types

There is no point in investing in an IP scanner if it does not provide details beyond the connected IPs and devices. A robust IP scanner should provide granular information such as MAC address, IP availability, utilization, unauthorized access, and even details of the device types. This ensures quick resolution of issues.

3. Real-time monitoring into network changes and new device connections

With every scan, the IP scanner updates the real-time status of the network, thereby detecting any new changes or device connections in the network. This proactive approach enables the administrator to keep the network ahead of any potential network issues.

4. Improved compliance adherence by maintaining an accurate inventory of network assets

Organizations are expected to maintain an updated inventory of all network assets in order to adhere to compliance. IP scanners with scheduling options can help the administrator reduce manual intervention in keeping the inventory updated.

5. Enhanced security posture through proactive identification of potential threats and vulnerabilities

With periodic network scans, an IP scanner can proactively detect security threats and vulnerabilities. This approach ensures the administrators isn’t behind the curve, thereby enabling them to take timely corrective actions.

Practical applications of an IP scanner

  • Network inventory management: IP scanners help administrators maintain an up-to-date inventory where the updated details of the devices are listed. This real-time information of devices enables them to understand the life cycle of network devices, schedule maintenance, and plan for the future needs wisely.
  • Network troubleshooting: The IP management tool should enable the administrators to effectively troubleshoot issues, reducing resolution time significantly. Additionally, having a streamlined communication channel for instant interaction will aid them in promptly addressing and mitigating issues, simplifying the troubleshooting process.
  • Security assessment: Complete visibility into the network is the key for a healthy network. Proactive scanning helps the network administrator gain visibility into unauthorized device access attempts. By identifying rogue devices and potential vulnerabilities, they can mitigate the issues well before they impact the network.

Challenges and considerations of using an IP scanner

  • False positives may trigger unnecessary alerts, resulting in a lot of resources wastage. To address this, the administrators should be aware of the network entirely and conduct regular scan result validations.
  • Repetitive scanning operations can burden network resources, impacting the network’s performance. Scheduling scans can help address this challenge.
  • Scalability is crucial in a growing network where the size and complexity of networks keep increasing. In such cases, consider investing in scalable scanning solutions.
  • IP scanning has the potential to disclose sensitive information, posing security risks. Implementing access controls, ensuring compliance with regulations, and using a tool to detect unauthorized device access can mitigate these risks.

How OpUtils facilitates IP scanning while overcoming these challenges

OpUtils is an IP address management and switch port mapper solution with a built-in IP scanner that helps administrators take complete control of the network by furnishing them with the latest up-to-date information. OpUtils is an affordable, user-friendly solution for real-time IP scanning, designed to assist network administrators in effectively managing their IT resources. Equipped with advanced IP scanning and mapping functionalities, OpUtils has over 30 in-built tools that enhances troubleshooting. Apart from IP address management and switch port mapping, OpUtils offers rogue device detection, helping administrators identify unauthorized or compromised devices on their network and manage them effectively.

Take advantage of OpUtils’ 30-day, free trial to learn how OpUtils’ advanced IP scanner gives complete visibility on your network. Or schedule a live demo and talk to our product experts who can answer all your product-related questions.